A massive surge of light erupts out of nowhere, instantly disrupting your sleep and singeing your eyes even though your lids are closed. It feels like someone’s pointing a billion industrial flashlights directly at your face.
You groan at the unbearable sensation, trying to shield yourself from the onslaught. Your eyelids start to flutter, blinking rapidly despite your sleepy haze as you struggle in vain to block out the intrusive light.
Ugh. I can’t believe it’s morning already.
Just then, an odd, unfamiliar sense of awareness befalls you.
Like you’re swaying, yet…immobile.
Fluid yet fixed.
Rising and falling all at once.
Something doesn’t feel right…
You open your eyes reluctantly, using one hand to brace yourself against the bright beams of the sun as the world appears before you.
And, boy, is it bright.
You sniffle as you toss in your bed, feeling around for your pillow with one hand so you can bury your head under it while you shield your eyes with the other. Your mattress isn’t exactly up there with the Tempurpedics or anything, but your goodness, it feels softer than usual.
A lot softer.
But a minute later and still no pillow.
And, for some reason, it smells like a freshly mowed lawn in late spring with—
Abruptly, intuition kicks in, the wheels in your head spinning faster than they should, and in that moment, and you realize something:
You’re not in your bed.
You’re not even in your apartment.
You jerk upright impulsively, waves of panic and trepidation searing through your body, your head pounding with adrenaline-spiked blood.
You look around frantically, your eyes wide as saucers, rapidly scanning your surroundings.
Miles and miles of remarkably green grass stretch forever in every direction, punctuated by fat clusters of cotton and unusually large sunflowers.
What the hell…?
Your brows furrow as you continue to stare at the eye-catching—albeit baffling—view.
Do cotton and sunflowers even grow together?
Your mind quickly snaps back to the present as realization dawns on you, and your brief sense of intrigue and curiosity is replaced once more by anxiety and confusion.
Where the hell am I?
You stand up, your legs slightly shaky from your suddenly overactive nerves, and any remnants of sleep and drowsiness are completely gone now. Your heart pounds in your chest as you try to make sense of what’s happening.
How the fuck did I get here?
Oh God, was I kidnapped? Did some psycho break into my apartment and drug me?
You’re trying desperately not to freak out, but your efforts are proving to be useless because you’re right on the verge of a major panic attack—
A sound abruptly tears through the relative quiet, making your already distressed heart leap into your throat. Your head whips left and right reflexively, your eyes searching frantically for its source, but you see nothing. You have no idea which direction it even came from. It kind of sounds like a bird…but you can’t be sure.
Heart pounding, you hesitantly look up to the sky, afraid of what you might find. But, as soon as you do, all your worries disintegrate, your fear instantly replaced by an immeasurable sense of amazement and a strange reverence. You’re awe-struck by the sheer beauty of what’s in front of you, staring with eyes wide open at the incredible, vast hue of blue and distinct golden rays of sunlight poking through its mantle, visibly filtering all the way down to the ground. There isn’t a cloud in sight.
That’s pretty unusual, especially for this time of year—
You feel your brows begin to furrow of their own accord as the wheels in your head spin.
You look down impulsively, tearing your gaze away from the gorgeous skyline above and belatedly realizing two things for the first time since you woke up.
One: You’re barefoot.
You’re never barefoot.
And two: You’re wearing a sheer, white night-gown…one that looks a lot like your mother’s…
Wait a minute…I didn’t wear this to sleep. And I’m pretty sure I had socks on when—
Suddenly, it dawns on you.
Your attention goes back and forth between your naked feet and the gown draping your body, eventually settling on the latter. you look down the grand length of it, lifting the simple hemline to your knees and observing the peculiar ivory embroidery and stitching along the collar and cuffs.
You run your palms over the satin finish tentatively as a questioning frown makes its way onto your face.
All of this feels way too strange.
This has to be a dream.
It’s the only thing that makes sense—as crazy as that sounds.
You nod, as if to confirm your speculation, your eyes switching between the immaculate gown and the contrasting bright colors of your surroundings.
Yes. Yes, it has to be. I’m having one of those…what do they call them? Lucid dreams?
Yeah, that’s right.
You’re in a lucid dream.